He said, "I felt like I was playing for mine."
The Vikings fired Childress on Nov. 22, after a 31--3 home loss to the Packers. So in a sense Favre won his last standoff with a head coach. Soon, though, he will be out of a job as well. "I'll be so glad when the year is over," Bonita says, "because 10 years from now he's gonna pay for this."
She has reason to be concerned. Almost every part of Favre's body has been listed on an NFL injury report: hand, neck, toe, hamstring, head, elbow, back, side, chin, thigh, shoulder, forearm, hip, ankle, heel. In the game after Irvin died, Favre played with a broken thumb on his passing hand. Once he was on crutches until Friday with a badly sprained his ankle. He played on Sunday.
Then there are the dozens of injuries that did not end up on an official report, more sprains and bruises and nicks and tweaks. This doesn't even count the time he was wrestling with a teammate in college, caught his ankle in the bed frame and nearly broke it, or the pieces of him that have been removed: bone spurs and bone chips and 30 inches of intestine from a car accident in college.
Favre's friends and family can't imagine him putting on a coat and tie and goofing around on some TV network every week. He hates traveling, and those studios are usually in big cities. Once he's done, he's done: back to Mississippi for good.
Then what? The obsessive mind does not choose to obsess, and it cannot stop obsessing on demand. Brett is three years younger than Scott but looks 10 years older, and Scott has a simple explanation: "He really doesn't seem to enjoy life like he probably should."
If you can measure a man's priorities by how he spends his money, then Favre's heart is on his estate outside Hattiesburg, Miss. He was happy hitting golf balls he found on the course, and even now his wardrobe is out of the Top of the Pile collection. But on his property he spares no expense. The place is filled with tractors, mowers, edgers and blowers. In the off-season Favre wakes at dawn and spends his morning planting, mowing and clearing brush. He'll down a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich for lunch and get back to work.
Nobody thinks Favre will be happy working on his property for the rest of his life. Scott hopes Brett gets serious again about golf. Favre is an avid hunter, and not long ago he brought in deer from Texas for his estate. But he can't bring himself to shoot them. Last spring, Bonita says, Brett found a fawn on his property with no mother in sight, and he kept it in a stall and bottle-fed it—she was a fickle fawn, and she would only take the bottle from him.
But Favre still loves to go on hunting trips away from his property, and once in a while he'll shoot a huge buck and give it to somebody. Most of the time, though, he doesn't even fire a shot. It is hard to tell if Brett Favre is hunting or just sitting alone in the woods.